Mechanical Organ Tones (Bayernhof Museum Tone Series, Part 3)

Bayernhof Musuem curator Tony Marsico shows off the Artisan XA1 Band Organ here–the Artisan company, producer of the mechanical instrument was a Wurlitzer competitor. Here’s today’s first tone–Artisan XA1 Band Organ Tone. Not as powerful-sounding as the tone I published earlier this week from the museum’s “part your hair” Wurlitzer Military Band Organ, but this tone also has the same kind of charming running-out-of-gas ending as the Wurlitzer tone.

Our second audio treat for the day is the Seeburg Pipe Organ Tone. This instrument takes up a lot of space, and is situated in the house’s formal living room. Tony described the organ as an “orchestra photo player”–saying that an operator might accompany silent movies with the instrument, adding programmed sound effects at will. When I listen to this cheery mechanical organ tone, I picture vaudeville dancers hamming it up in tap shoes on stage, or something in black and white–a train scene from a silent movie with the clank-clank bell playing to let folks know the train is a-boarding. In case you’re a hard core pipe organ aficionado, the official name for this instrument is the Seeburg Pipe Organ Orchestra Style R.

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